Most of my Christmas gifts get ordered online anymore. Ordering online, as you know, lessens holiday stress, saves gasoline & mileage, and just makes the whole experience fun in my book.
Speaking of books, one of the presents I got is a book (not revealing which book
or for whom
because sometimes my family reads my public posts - knowing one of my sisters, though, she'll go filing through their books to see which one it might be. Good luck, Deborah!!). Because the book is now out of print, I looked on eBay and Amazon through their extra sellers.
Well!! This particular extra seller ((DE Books on Amazon
)) is located in my hometown of Greenville, NC. I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny to find out that the seller is a high school friend of mine?"
I placed an order with DE Books on Amazon
on Dec. 9
for standard shipping, which would mean that the item would arrive at a cost of $7.98. The shipping rates are typically inflated to cover the cost of shipping materials and the time it takes to package up the items. I understand this process because Matt and I do it for eBay items regularly. This time around, though, in comparing $7.98 to online USPS postage pricing, I thought, "The book should arrive by Dec. 16 at the latest!" It arrived yesterday, Dec. 18, which is a day after I'd already packaged up items to send out to NC in time for Christmas; and I didn't spend a lot of money, but everything in the package is wrapped!
I was so livid that the book arrived late and wasn't included in the shipment to NC. Granted, I will be carrying it with me, but as an online seller myself, I take umbrage with the fact that these guys charged me more than twice
the media rate and the item arrived late!! If they'd spent a little more (of my money), but still making $1-2, the book would have arrived by Dec. 15!!
Amazon allows you to contact the seller, (DE Books on Amazon
), which I've done:
"Hi, On this order, I requested standard shipping, which is (oddly) $7.98, and the item arrived on 12/18. Standard shipping* (3-5 business days) should have helped the package arrive by 12/16 at the latest. On the package, you selected USPS Media Mail for books. While I realize this is a good way to ship books because it's less expensive, Media Mail takes longer to arrive. If you want to make money on the shipping fee during the holidays, resulting in later arrivals of shipments, that is really bad business (and can be reflected in feedback).
However, if you had chosen USPS Priority Mail as the option, the items would have been here in 2 business days (i.e. 12/14 at the latest) instead of 7 at a cost of $5.95. I am writing to request a refund of $4, which I think is fair (and you still make money on your shipping): As a result of your choosing the later shipping, I will not be able to send the package wrapped to its destination by Christmas, which is VERY disappointing.
* Please refer to the posted Amazon Shipping Rates & Policies at the bottom of every page."
I think this is a fair request. I don't really care about $4
. It's the principle of the thing. Online sellers try to make extra money on shipping, I get it. Like I said, I've done it, but within reason. If the actual price of shipping items comes to less than half of what the person has already paid, without question, we will refund a split. It might turn out to be $2-3, but it's the giving thing to do. Around the holidays, I like to think (against my better judgment) that people will have a little bigger heart; when they don't, I call them on it.
I doubt this will come to anything and the guy will hang onto that $4 for all it's worth - in this economy. I completely expect that. While writing this whole thing out, I felt it was kind of petty. But, dammit, it's not. My feedback will not be positive, but at least in this little exchange, my voice will have been heard, and ultimately THAT is what's important and what makes me American.